NCAA Football Column: NCAAF with Michael Emmett
Does OSU Have a Case
Are the 12-1 Cowboys national title-worthy in the eyes of the AP voters who hold the power? On the heels of their riveting 41-38 victory over Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl, the Cowboys can at least contend they would be a strong option for free-thinking Associated Press Poll voters if — and it's a strong if — Alabama somehow knocks off No. 1-ranked LSU tonight in the Mulligan Bowl sometimes referred to as the BCS title game.This game is a do-over that should never be happening.
College football needs a playoff in the worst way and this re-match is ridiculous – even if these two teams are the best in the business. And unfortunately, we’ll never know for sure if this is the case. Why is it that in most years we are given 3 teams worthy of a title shot – yet, we have to pick two?
Does anybody remember undefeated Auburn (13-0, undfeated in the SEC) not get a chance to prove itself on the field in 2004? OSU would have a chance against either team – but as luck would have it –they won’t get a chance to show it.Should LSU win the rematch of its regular-season clash against Alabama — and it says here it is patently unfair that the Tigers even have to — Les Miles' team will hold the crystal trophy aloft in the Superdome with no questions asked. But if Nick Saban's team pulls off the mild upset in New Orleans, it will set off all forms of protests. And Oklahoma State would be at the front of the line to make its case.
Here are my reasons OSU should be considered:
- Like LSU and Alabama, OSU would have only one loss.
- Like the victorious Tide and unlike LSU, OSU would have won its BCS bowl game.
- Like LSU and unlike Alabama, OSU was its conference's champion.
- Like LSU and Alabama, OSU has one half of an outstanding football team, boasting an impressive offense that struck for 400 yards through the air and a yard shy of 4 touchdown passes from its quarterback against a very qualified, 11-win Cardinal team.
- The BCS computers had the Big 12 conference ranked #1. OSU was conference champions for the top rated division – losing just once – surely, this is good enough to be considered #1 in the land when the final polls are released.
Remember 9-6 LSU, anyone? The object is to win the game, and nothing more should be necessary in a match-up between such high-caliber teams.
I realize some have already pointed to Oklahoma State's road loss at Iowa State as a variable that should disqualify the Big 12 champion. That's another serious consideration, but the flip side of that argument is that the Southeastern Conference has never been this top-heavy, its current 5-2 bowl record with an overtime loss notwithstanding. The Big 12, clearly the top conference in college football this season with six winners in eight bowl games, was a much better league than the SEC, top to rock bottom.Sure, Kansas was as bad as they come, but is Ole Miss any better? Do Tennessee and Kentucky really scare anybody? Vanderbilt?
The bottom of the SEC is a disaster – and this is why the brain trusts who handle the BCS computer portion of the rankings have ranked the Big 12 #1.Oklahoma State beat 'em all except for Paul Rhoads' Cyclones, falling on a field goal that missed by inches. Defenses win championships, but offenses can, too.
There might be some who think split champions would provide an impetus for a playoff. They could lead to a plus-one format, which I don't like, even though it beats the alternative. It just doesn't make any sense in seasons with clear champions like 2005 with Texas and, well, this one if LSU prevails.But if LSU doesn't win, let the arguments begin. Mike Gundy, be ready. I love confusion, and chaos, for that reason alone – Go Tide.
Email Michael Emmett at: email@example.com
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